Petula "Spike" Collier's photos from the late 70s.

40 years on - the Northern Soul of Peterborough keeps on beating

Earlier this year Peterborough’s Jumped Up Theatre started documenting and celebrating the city’s Northern Soul scene, interviewing the people who remembered the scene in the 1970s.

By Brad Barnes
Saturday, 21st November 2020, 9:18 am

Those interviews about their time as promoters, dancers and DJs are now available online on the Jumped Up website, both as recordings and transcriptions. The interviews remind us all of great nights out when we took singing and dancing through the night for granted! “We had do the interviews over the ‘phone and work remotely to build the webpages, but it felt important to keep going despite the restrictions of the pandemic. The interviews are full of happy memories of times of friendships, night-time adventures and dancing to great music,” reflects Jumped Up’s Creative Producer, Kate Hall. Interviews range from DJ and promoter, Paul Donnelly to photographer and dancer Petula “Spike” Collier, who went to soul nights with her mum and dad, to city councillor Steve Allen, who built a successful business from his experience as a club DJ. The online archive also includes a recording from a Northern Soul night at The Fleet in 1979 – the sounds of the DJ’s patter, stamping feet, everyone clapping together and shouting over the music takes you right back. If you have a Northern Soul of Peterborough story, or photos, or memorabilia, to share it can be added to the collection via the Jumped Up website or by emailing [email protected] Or maybe you want to get dancing? As well as keeping up with the research the weekly Body & Soul dance and fitness classes have continued, online. Every Thursday morning at 10am local dance instructor Chloe Wilmot leads 60 minutes of movement and stretching to great Northern Soul tracks. “Getting together every Thursday morning for a dance to great music has been a great way to keep spirits up, even when everything is closed.” explains Chloe. “The sessions are free and easy to access via Zoom. We have so much fun that we don’t even notice burning off 500 calories. Everyone is welcome to sign-up.” We may all be at home, but it’s good to know that nothing stops a passion for great music and dancing. You can find out more about the project at

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